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Ben Ogden:

Hey sports fans! Hope everybody reading is enjoying some snow and cold somewhere! We have had more than our fair share of both here in Finland. With -19 degrees celsius on the thermometer there were slightly more challenges out on the course than usual, but of course team USA embraced it all with open arms. We were pulling out all the stops out there, triple wind briefs, double hat, double buff, face tape, and who knows what else. It wouldn’t be racing in Finland without some of that bitter cold we all know and love!

I haven’t participated in many sprints lately so my points had me starting a little while back. This turned out to be an advantage for me as I could see the fastest guys on the course and learn from how they skied. With a little Bill Koch style old school striding mixed just right with some monkey running, I was able to sneak into third in the qualifier!, The day was far from over after that, despite the feeling in my chest and legs. The heats came around quickly and I went ahead and did exactly what I do best and helped myself to another max effort in the quarters. Thankfully I was able to sneak into the semifinals via lucky loser. I then found myself in the semi finals surrounded on either side by team Russia which was epic. These fellas made me pay dearly for my actions in the quarterfinals and went full gas all the way around. Unfortunately I was unable to advance any further. Going into the summer, boosting my fitness and confidence so I can ski through an entire sprint day will have to be where my focus is. Either way, I was psyched with the entire day and ready to get some hot tea down the hatch. I learned a little more about me as a skier, where strengths and more importantly my weaknesses lie, so it was a massive success.

Photos: @tomimakipaa1, U.S. Ski & Snowboard, Bryan Fish

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